Monday, December 28, 2015

A Very Merry Jewish Christmas Weekend; Two Movies, Chinese Food and Fidler on the Roof

Submitted for publication in The Wave, January 1, 2016,

A Very Jewish Christmas Weekend: Two Movies, Chinese Food and Fidler on the Roof
By Norm Scott

It was a very Jewish Christmas weekend as we continued the Jewish tradition going back to Moses of a movie and Chinese food on Christmas Day. The Bible tells us that Moses came down from the Mount starved for entertainment and food but found few restaurants open on Xmas - other than Chinese restaurants. And thus came the 11th commandment - all a Jew wants for Christmas is a movie and Chinese food.

Ah, tradition. We aimed to get a head start on on Xmas Eve for this venerable ancient Jewish tradition by heading over to see The Big Short where we were sure we would not face long lines and could pretty much walk in a few minutes before the 8:30 start time. I mean, who goes to a movie on Xmas Eve? Most Jews would be home resting up for the big next day ahead.

What a shock to find a crowded theater and SOLD OUT sign for The Big Short. For an 8:30 show? On Xmas Eve?

All the other movies at the multiplex started too late for us old folk to remain awake and we skulked back home to look for the Yule Log on TV. But not a yule log to be found. I couldn't even find one sermon. Times have certainly changed. There were actual TV shows all over the 500 channels. In the good old days of the 60s there wasn't much to see on Xmas Eve other than religious services. I remember scrounging around for any movie I could find in those days. I probably watched more bad movies on Xmas eve than at any other time.

We got up early on Xmas Day to make sure we could get an early start at the Regal 14th St where there were sure to be lots of choices. There was a line outside at 11:30 before the place even opened.

I know we're in NYC but can there be so many Jews? Will there be any room at a Chinese restaurant that evening? I took a look around-- a great number of people were people of color from all over the world it seemed. And probably some non-Jewish white people - like all these young people from out of town who did not go home for the holidays. Jews are not alone in their Xmas ritual. But do all these non-Jews also do Chinese food? Better get a reservation. But my wife has misplaced her list of Chinese restaurants which she painstakingly accumulated.

On entering, the first thing I notice: next to every showing of the The Big Short: SOLD OUT.

Capitalism must be in more trouble than we think. Are they all Bernie Sanders fans?

Well, the upshot is that we love Star Wars - people cheering for their favorite characters and even objects. Even the Millennium Falcon coming out of mothballs gets a cheer. And when [spoiler alert] CP3O appeared near the end I was so excited - CP3O is the voice on my WAZE app {"Turn right, master"). And he blames R2D2 traffic jambs.

Star Wars in 3-D cost us 37 bucks - for Seniors, yet. I used to pay a quarter for a double feature and a cartoon at the Premier on Livonia Ave.

We had to think of a way to sneak into another movie. Star Wars ended at 2:30 and we began to plot. Risk going downstairs to see The Hunger Games or stay on the same floor and see Spotlight? Life is full of tough choices. We decide to stay and see Spotlight, the story of how the Boston Globe exposed the story of abuses by priests. A little icky for Xmas day, but we ain't paying for another set of tickets. I was raised in a good Jewish home, after all.

Spotlight was so well done, but now it's time for that Chinese food. But that list my wife made is still not found. So we walk uptown and come to a lively French place and my wife is hungry. Going in there is a violation of the essentials of Jewry but even committing original sin is not worth dealing with a hungry wife. Besides it's not the first time I committed original sin - I am the only Jew who never saw Fidler on The Roof.

Saturday, we head over to the half price ticket line. Fidler is available, center left, orchestra seats. Oh, what a show. REDEMPTION, I sing in a deep baritone. And the list of Chinese restaurants is found and there is one on the way home. The food is wonderful in a decor recalling 1930's Shanghai. Though a day late, I finally get my Xmas Chinese food.

Fidler and Chinese food on the day after Xmas. Maybe it’s a new TRADITION!!!

Norm continues the TRADITION [sung in any voice at all] of blogging daily at

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